Controversies

Controversies (Disputationes de controversiis christianae fidei adversus hujus temporis heareticos) by Robert Bellarmine

This work was published in three volumes beginning in 1586 and ending in 1593. Bellarmine organized the previous arguments made against Protestants and systematized them in order to refute the main areas of dispute between Protestants and Catholics. He dealt with such critical issues as the authority of scripture and the pope, the sacraments, purgatory, and indulgences.

His arguments are systematized and historical rather than philosophical in that they appeal to Scripture first (as was the custom of the Protestant theologians), then they also cite the early church fathers and the councils. This approach made for a convincing attack against Protestants who believed that Scripture should be the ultimate source of authority for matters of faith and practice.